Indian Super League, Round 17
Hyderabad FC face SC East Bengal on Friday as both teams look for a crucial win, going into the business end of the tournament. Ahead of this game, we take a look at the squads, the opponents, the key men, and more…
Round 5: Hyderabad FC 3-2 SC East Bengal (Aridane 56’, 56’; Narzary 68’ | Maghoma 26’, 81’)
Dec 15, Tilak Maidan, Vasco
After three consecutive draws, Hyderabad FC picked up their second victory in the Indian Super League 2020-21 against SC East Bengal in their fifth game of the season. While Hyderabad started the first half of the game with a dominating mindset by creating consistent chances and effectively restricting SCEB to their half, it was East Bengal’s Jacques Maghoma who scored the first goal of the night to give his side the lead.
Although Aridane Santana missed a chance to restore parity after his penalty was saved minutes before the half-time whistle, the Spaniard made amends in the second half by scoring a quick-fire brace, separated only by 39 seconds. Hyderabad continued to trouble the Red and Gold’s backline and it was Halicharan Narzary’s debut goal for the club that sealed the victory for Hyderabad FC.
Securing their first win nine games into the season, SC East Bengal had a rocky start to their debut campaign in the Indian Super League. Since the sides last met, SCEB have made some major changes to their squad which includes the signings of Bright Enobakhare, Raju Gaikwad, Sarthak Gouli, Sourav Das and Ankit Mukherjee. Interestingly, the goalkeepers of the two clubs switched camps over the winter transfer window on loan as Subrata Paul joined the Red and Golds while Sankar Roy moved to Hyderabad till the end of the season. East Bengal will be guided by the assistant coach, Tony Grant on the sidelines on Friday as Head Coach Robbie Fowler will be serving his four-match suspension by the AIFF.
Despite sitting at ninth position on the league table, SCEB are only seven points away from a spot in the playoffs which makes them potential contenders in the race to the top-4. Additionally, the side will come into the game with a confident mindset after collecting a crucial win against Jamshedpur FC on Sunday.
After playing out a goalless draw against NorthEast United FC, Hyderabad aim for a victory to cement their position in the top-4 as other teams are inching closer, in the business end of the tournament.
Matti Steinmann (SCEB)
Having scored an early goal in the match against Jamshedpur, the German midfielder will come into the game with an optimistic outlook. With four goals and three assists to his name, Steinmann has been one of the most consistent players for SCEB. With positioning in the final third and deadly finishing, combined with the ability to link up play with Anthony Pilkington and Jacques Maghoma in the midfield, Steinmann could create problems for the Hyderabad backline on Friday.
Daniel Fox (SCEB)
A calm and composed presence at the back, Fox has been one of the most dependable players for SC East Bengal. The skipper will be key to negating Hyderabad’s attack with his strength in the air against the likes of Aridane in this game. He could also cause HFC problems in set-pieces at both ends of the field and could be a real asset for the hosts, in this game.
Bright Enobakhare (SCEB)
Despite joining the side late in the season, the young forward has been impactful by acting as a catalyst in attack for the Red and Gold brigade. A creative presence in the attack, Bright could pose to be a real threat to the Hyderabad backline with deceiving footwork, quick-paced runs and his ability to get past defenders with ease.
Halicharan Narzary (HFC)
Having scored four goals this season, the Indian International has shown consistent quality in attack. With the help of tireless running, dangerous positioning and inch-perfect crosses, Narzary could prove to be a menace for the SCEB backline. The East Bengal defenders will be also wary of Narzary’s partnership with Santana, Fran Sandaza and Liston Colaco in the front and Akash Mishra on the flank.
Aridane Santana (HFC)
With seven goals to his name, the Hyderabad skipper has been one of the most influential players for the side this season. The Spaniard could test East Bengal’s defence through his pressing, aerial prowess, quick distribution of the ball and neat finishing abilities. Aridane could also be key to Hyderabad in negating the set-piece threat on Friday as he will hope to repeat his performance from the last time he met the side from East Bengal.
Odei Onaindia (HFC)
Hyderabad FC’s dependable wall at the back, Odei has contributed massively in holding the fort for his side. The Spanish defender will aim to stop East Bengal’s attacking threats through his ability to read the game, precise ball distribution, and timely interceptions. Owing to his strong physique and aerial strength, he could also be a threat in set-pieces. He will work in tandem with Chinglensana Sana to continue the recent form at the back for Hyderabad FC on Friday.